Make every click count!

Gold
VERIFIED

Straight North is an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and responsive websites. We help firms increase sales leads and e-commerce revenue.

Our core service is SEO. We have helped hundreds of clients improve organic search visibility since 1997. We are the only SEO company that validates and reports all sales leads from phone and forms.

Call us today: 844-219-3699

 
$1,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 211 W Upper Wacker Dr, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
other locations
  • 615 S College St.
    Charlotte, NC 28202
    United States

Reviews

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SEO for Family Dental Practice

"They’re personable and they make sure we know they care."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Aug. 2019 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North redesigned a website as part of a digital marketing and SEO partnership. Their services included keyword analysis and PPC campaigns.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Liz Rorick
Advertising and Marketing Manager, Sycamore Hills Dentistry
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website has seen growth in traffic volume, along with a boost in PPC results and keyword searches. Straight North is a dedicated and responsive team with reliable account management.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I handle marketing and online advertising campaigns for Sycamore Hills Dentistry.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were previously using a dental-specific SEO company and we weren’t happy with their cookie-cutter marketing. It was too generic for us. We wanted somebody who could bring a more personalized approach to our account and get better results.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They overhauled our website, working on content and optimizing pages for SEO. They redesigned the pages and the flow of the site, including updating all images. Other services included keyword analysis and ran PPC campaigns.

What is the team composition?

I worked with Natalie (Project Manager, Straight North) as my main point of contact. She handled everything with my website.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I used to do marketing for another company and they used Straight North. I knew of their reputation and I was always impressed by the quality of their work and the personal attention they gave to each client.

How much have you invested with them?

We started working together in August 2019 and the engagement is ongoing.

What is the status of this engagement?

We’ve spent $10,000–$25,000.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They’re driving traffic to our website and we’re moving ahead in PPC results and keyword searches. They bring a lot more to the table than our previous vendor.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Most of my communication has been with Natalie, and she’s always exceeded my expectations for managing our account. She makes sure I know what’s going on. Any issues have always been resolved very quickly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Having worked with other agencies before, I’m really impressed with Natalie’s handling of our account. Whenever I talk to someone else at Straight North, they know who we are and what we’re trying to do. They’re personable and they make sure we know they care.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I can’t think of anything.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Find an account manager who’s really good at communicating with you and keeping you on the same page. We didn’t have that with other companies.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

PPC Campaign for Real Estate Service

"I gave them suggestions of what might work best for my business. They just kept doing what they were doing." 

Quality: 
2.0
Schedule: 
2.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
1.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
May - July 2019
Project summary: 

Straight North was contracted to do paid search on Google and Bing. After a two-week delay in setting up the campaigns, they delivered leads outside the targeted audience and disregarded client input. This review includes the vendor's response.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Boynton Beach, Florida
Rustam Uktamov
CEO, Sol Green Homes
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Converted leads did not fit the target profile, and Straight North’s openness to suggestions for improvement were not encouraging. Spending more time acclimating themselves to the client’s business realities would have resulted in a more trusting relationship. Their responsiveness was a highlight.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the CEO of Sol Green Homes. I flip houses; essentially, I am a real estate investor.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

I was looking for a marketing company who could do paid ads on Google.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We discussed everything over the phone. They said they would set up new landing pages for me and do all the research about my business. According to them, it would take them two weeks to set up all the campaigns and initiate them.

Actually, it took more than four weeks, which was the first red flag for me. I sent several emails asking about progress and when they would be starting the campaigns. We kept going back and forth and they said they were working on it. At some point, I sent a final email letting them know it had already been more than four weeks, and that, at that point, I was considering hiring someone else so I could get ads running by the end of that week. It still took them another week to actually start running the campaigns.

In my initial call with the sales representative, they said they would run ads on both Bing and Google. I am a small business with a limited budget; I wanted to start small and asked them to focus on Google to start. Although I am not sure they ran ads on Bing, I am sure they ran ads on Google. They gave me access to the Google Ads account so I could see what was going on.

What is the team composition?

I worked with a sales representative initially, and, after I signed a contract with them, I was assigned an account manager and a customer care manager.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I started searching for a reliable company with great reviews. I began my search on Google, and I knew about Clutch and found Straight North through the site. I wanted to hire a company that could do PPC and Google ads, but additionally SEO and Facebook ads in the future. Their profile mentioned they work with small businesses like me, with lower budgets in the beginning.

I contacted them, as well as two other companies with similar competencies from Clutch. Straight North seemed to be more flexible with their terms and I decided to go with them. The other two companies didn’t follow up or there were other reasons I decided not to go with them.

How much have you invested in them?

In total, they charged me around $2,100. It may not seem like a lot of money, but considering they charged me that amount and wasted two and a half months, it was. Someone with better expertise may have done the job better, and I maybe would have made some more money during that time.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from May–July 2019.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.

They ran my ads for about a month, and for that entire month they set up a few ad groups and campaigns in one account. I had around 1,000 impressions, and 42 clicks. The click-through rate was 3.86%, and the conversion rate was 7%.

There were certain types of audiences they had to focus on rather than only driving traffic from people who wanted to sell their properties. All the conversions they brought me were irrelevant. Most of the leads who converted were people who wanted to sell their houses faster, and, in return, they had to sell at a cheaper price so I could sell it, fix it up, and make a profit.

How was project management handled?

They did communicate and were responsive to my emails, but when it came to fixing those things, most of the time they didn’t agree with me. Although they have experience managing Google Ads, from my standpoint, I know my business better and I gave them suggestions of what might work best for my business. They just kept doing what they were doing.

Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?

One positive thing was their communication. When I would reach out to them, they would reply the same day, if not immediately. They scheduled calls so that we could discuss things.

In what specific areas can they improve?

For the money I paid them, they didn’t put in enough effort to fix things in the campaign. They just ignored most of the suggestions that I gave them to improve the performance.

What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?

It seemed like they have quite a few staff members, and they should be doing great business if they have that many people working for them. I would suggest for people that are considering working with them to find out if it is worth it for a small business, especially if you don’t have a big budget to spend per month. Maybe a small mom and pop company that will put more effort into your campaign would be better than a large marketing company like Straight North.

2.0
Overall Score
  • 2.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They missed the first deadline. Instead of two weeks, it ended up being four weeks.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were affordable.
  • 2.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 1.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Company response

The vendor responded on August 21, 2019.

Thanks for your review. It seems while you were happy with the level of communication our team provided, you were not satisfied with the time it took to build and launch your new PPC campaign along with the performance that was produced in just over one month.

Regarding the timing, the contract that you signed clearly stated a 17-business day timeline from the kickoff meeting to campaign launch. Our team delivered this in 20 business days. There must have been a misunderstanding on this, and we apologize for the three-day delay.

In response to the performance, PPC campaigns require data to be collected in order to make strategic decisions that allow us to improve the performance of your campaign over time. In 36 days, your campaign garnered 87 clicks and 8 leads. Unfortunately, at your monthly budget, this short timeframe did not allow for adequate data collection, which would have enabled us to make larger-scale changes to improve future campaign performance.

Please note that nearly 50% of your total investment went into building out a new PPC campaign that you now own. You are free to manage the campaign yourself or hire another firm to manage it for you.

We are sorry that we did not deliver on your expectations. In order to make things right, we decided to release you from a legally binding contract and the associated billing one month early.

Web Design for Renewables & Environmental Company

“They acted like a partner that was willing to listen to what we truly wanted instead of pushing their own agenda.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Jan. - July 2019
Project summary: 

To replace an antiquated site, Straight North developed a new website to attract customers. It featured a mobile-responsive design, updated content, and interactive graphics. They also created an SEO strategy.

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Vice President, Renewables and Environmental Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site has pulled in more leads and better conveys the business’s messaging. Thoughtful and amenable, Straight North made sure to keep the client’s input at the forefront. They took the time to explain their thought process on specific decisions to best manage expectations.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the executive VP of a national recycling company. Our business handles recycled paper, plastics, and metals. We provided services throughout the US, operating our own network of plants in addition to brokering recycled products.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?
 
We were looking for a vendor that could rebuild our website, which hadn’t been updated since 2011.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We tasked Straight North with creating a brand new website that would allow us to grow as a business. Our main goal was to obtain new customers, so the platform needed to be mobile-friendly. 

As for the content, we wanted to highlight who we’ve become as a company by integrating more interactive graphics. They also set up the on-site SEO for our target keywords and developed off-page SEO strategies. But, we haven’t gone live with those yet because we wanted to see how the first two months after launch would go.

What is the team composition?

We interacted with 3–4 people in total. There was the initial salesperson who pitched Straight North’s services. From there, we were assigned a project manager and a writer, who became our main contacts across the process.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We were looking for firms in the Chicago area, and one of my personal contacts happened to mention Straight North. After interviewing a few companies, we felt the most comfortable with them. They truly understood what we were trying to accomplish, and, personality-wise, we meshed very well with them.

What is the status of this engagement?

The bulk of their redesign work lasted from January–July 2019. The goal, now, is to implement their SEO strategies over the next few months.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We don’t have any feedback yet because we’re less than two weeks into going live. However, in that short timeframe, we’ve definitely received leads more consistently than before. They did a fantastic job ensuring the site is easy to follow. It now more accurately represents who we are and helps portray our message quickly.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

The team was easy to deal with. We had face-to-face meetings, and they were timely in their responses and willing to listen to our comments and questions. We used web conferencing tools to visualize what had been done. They did a very nice job of explaining the rationale behind doing one option instead of another.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I appreciated how they worked with us as we tried to make something specific to our company. They acted like a partner that was willing to listen to what we truly wanted instead of pushing their own agenda.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we were very pleased.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

Clients should voice whatever questions they may have. If things are going a certain way, just ask for an explanation—there’s usually a good reason why.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Lead Generation Optimization for Cleanroom Testing Company

“Straight North’s key differentiation was their methodology, transparency, lead validation, and real-time reporting.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
June 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North developed a B2B lead generation site, integrating it with Salesforce Pardot and their own proprietary reporting tool to better analyze key metrics. Currently, they support digital marketing.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Des Moines, Iowa
Janet Donnelly
VP Marketing & Digital, Technical Solutions Holding, Inc
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

For five months, there has been continuous month-over-month traffic growth, and conversion rates for new leads have remained strong. Clients have also responded positively to the new site. Easy navigation and new content on service offerings have helped attract more business from existing clients.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the VP of marketing and digital strategy at Technical Solution Holdings. One of our portfolio companies is a leading provider of controlled environmental testing and certification services. They serve a variety of industries, including hospitals and healthcare, laboratories, pharmaceutical manufacturing, academic and animal research, and biotechnology.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Straight North?

We initially engaged Straight North to develop a new B2B lead generation website that would be integrated into Salesforce. This would optimize the leads and allow us to score accordingly in Salesforce Pardot. Now, we continue to use them for digital optimization, SEO/PPC, and lead generation support. 

What were your goals for this project? 

The goal of the project was to deliver a best-in-class B2B website that brought in new customer lead generation. We wanted to have the platform integrated into Salesforce along with a user-friendly portal where we could track key performance indicators (KPIs) and lead generation metrics. We also needed to deliver an ROI on lead generation and track the original traffic source. In the end, we wanted to be able to duplicate the structure and strategy of the final model for other companies within our holding company portfolio. 

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We found Straight North through a recommendation and vetted them with our statement of work (SOW) deliverables and lead generation strategy. Our CEO, president, and I oversaw the selection process. 

Brian (Senior Account Executive, Straight North) was the pivotal reason we chose Straight North. We had a lot of back-and-forth with him, and he brought in their web design and SEO/PPC teams for additional dialogue and strategy review. Straight North’s key differentiation was their methodology, transparency, lead validation, and real-time reporting. 

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

Our previous site was nonresponsive and had broken links. The load times were terrible, and the trust and citation flow metrics were not good. Straight North was responsible for building out our new B2B site, collaborating with our team to integrate it into Salesforce for lead generation.

Since then, we’ve expanded their role to include digital marketing services (e.g., SEO, SEM, PPC). The team supports us on keyword research, site map updates, internal links, backlinks, and content creation. They’ve also given us access to their proprietary analytics portal called GoNorth Reporting. It provides real-time reporting on KPIs and lead metrics on traffic and SEO/PPC along with form lead details and phone lead recordings.

What was the team composition?

The team structure has been consistent throughout the engagement. Ann (Senior Project Manager, Straight North) acts as our account manager for web design, and Courtney (Account Manager, Straight North) is our lead for SEO/PPC. Both work with our project manager who coordinates with our subject matter experts (SMEs), senior management, and digital team. For ongoing support, we rely on their digital director.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

We’ve been very satisfied with the success we’ve seen in just over five months. We continue to see month-over-month (MOM) traffic growth and double-digit new lead generation customer conversions.

As for the website, numerous customers have complimented on our efforts. The site’s hierarchy allows our customers to move through our pages at a comfortable cadence. In addition, they’ve recognized the new content on our services, and we’re seeing more success when upselling additional services to existing clients.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

Our internal project manager works with their two account managers. During development, we had a very detailed timeline and expectations on deliverables.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

We are in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nanotech, and medical device industry space, so our services are very technical. Despite the complexity of our field, we’ve been impressed by Straight North’s patience and professionalism when creating content for such niche topics.

Are there any areas for improvement?

No, I can’t think of anything. They did a great job and continue to do so for our PPC, SEO, digital optimization, and lead generation.

5.0
Overall Score They're an amazing partner, and our contacts are great.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We basically work with two teams at Straight North. Their project management is spot on, and they adhere to timelines.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Because we tie an ROI to our Lead Generation, we can clearly see the win for us as it relates to our cost/benefit analysis.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Straight North's work has been excellent. Their professionalism and communication at all time puts us first and foremost.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Since using Straight North for our first digital engagement, we have moved forward with three additional companies in our portfolio.

SEO, PPC, & Web Update for Construction Company

"Straight North presented a thorough plan that mapped out all meetings and deliverables."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Nov. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North made design and development updates to a residential home remodeling company’s website. They also coordinate SEO and PPC campaigns, which includes keyword analysis and content creation.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Marketing Manager, Construction Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North delivered website updates that have drawn extensive internal and external praise. They utilize a thorough and well-researched project plan to ensure a successful engagement. The staff is client-oriented and spares no effort to meet deadlines and fulfill all requirements.  

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the marketing manager of a construction company specializing in residential home remodeling in the Chicago area.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Straight North?

We engaged Straight North to make design and development updates to our website and manage our PPC and SEO campaigns.

What were your goals for this project?

Through this engagement, we hoped to increase web traffic to an updated website. We wanted to present ourselves better to our targeted audiences.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We initially met with Straight North in 2013, but we decided then that they were not the best fit for our company. It wasn’t until several years later that we became unhappy with our current website and the company managing our SEO. At that time, I reached back out to Straight North to see if we could strike a deal.

Describe the project and the services they provided in detail.

We’ve relied on Straight North to improve our website’s design and functionality. Further, they currently conduct keyword and backlink analysis as part of their ongoing management of our PPC and SEO campaigns. They also create search-friendly content for our website to drive additional traffic.

What was the team composition?

We initially met with a salesperson who presented Straight North’s services. Once we signed a contract, Straight North dedicated a project manager to our account along with a web designer, a content writer, and an SEO/PPC specialist.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

Our online traffic has increased by 30% since the launch of our new website. We’ve received compliments about the site’s design from our team and clients alike. We are currently working with Straight North on SEO strategies that will include targeting specific locations and utilizing our blog section.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

Olivia (Associate Project Manager, Straight North) ran the website update project very well. It was helpful only to have one point of contact. She was responsive and personable. She held her team accountable and made sure they were making progress toward our goals. They met all of our deadlines and regularly followed up with us to gather feedback.  

What did you find most impressive about this company?

I was impressed by their process. Straight North presented a thorough plan that mapped out all meetings and deliverables. They proved that they were prepared. We have a similar approach to projects with our clients, so to see that commonality was very reassuring.

Are there any areas for improvement?

I can’t pinpoint any areas that need improvement. So far we are extremely satisfied with our new website and Straight North’s performance with our other projects.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

WordPress Design and Digital Marketing Planning for Multi-Brand Co.

“Straight North has done a fantastic job capturing my company’s vision.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North has built two WordPress websites. Services include digital marketing, beta testing, SEO, and PPC.   

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Ryan Bongard
Founder & Chief Officer, Twelve21
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Vastly improved search result rankings have exceeded expectations. The site design encourages user engagement and garners overwhelming praise. Customers can expect an undemanding, full-service experience.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the founder and chief officer at Twelve21. Our two holding companies are an automotive consulting firm and a career advocacy and head-hunting agency.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed help with the relaunch and redevelopment of two websites. We wanted original and conspicuous designs that would appeal to a wide audience. We also needed a technically straightforward platform that our team could easily manage.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North built a WordPress site for the automotive consulting firm. Currently, they are working on a site for the career advocacy and head-hunting agency. They are in the process of beta testing and finalizing our SEO and PPC plans.

What is the team composition?

Michael (Business Development Manager, Straight North) oversees sales and business development. Natalie (Project Manager, Straight North) has been our project manager for both websites. We have also worked with creative developers and graphic designers.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We initially contracted Straight North for digital marketing services, then hired them to build a site for the automotive consulting firm. We reengaged them to build a site for the career advocacy and head-hunting agency.

How much have you invested with them?

We have spent over $10,000. We expect to exceed $20,000 by the end of this year. We agreed to a flat service fee and pay in monthly increments.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with Straight North in April 2018. They completed work on the automotive consulting firm site that fall, and they began developing the head-hunting agency’s site about a month later. Our work with Straight North is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Before hiring Straight North, our automotive consulting firm site did not register on any rankings. We were on the 98th page on Google. A month after Straight North launched the site, we jumped to the second page of almost every key web search. We have not put any additional money into SEO or PPC, yet our rankings continue to improve.

The head-hunting agency site has not launched yet, but customers regularly provide positive feedback on the automotive consulting firm site. They praise the clean and unique design. We have received many inquiries about who built the site.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North is incredibly accommodating of our small, busy company. We have made significant progress because they instill deadlines and regularly follow up. They cater to our demanding schedule and needs. We communicate online and via conference calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The automotive consulting firm site’s initial metrics have exceeded our expectations. Straight North has done a fantastic job capturing my company’s vision. Once we provided a brief description of what we wanted, Straight North handled everything and performed very well on their own.

We are extremely pleased with the automotive consulting firm site and are looking forward to the head-hunting agency’s site launch.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, I cannot think of anything.

Any advice for potential customers?

Provide as much vision and context to Straight North, and they will take care of the rest.  

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Sometimes my team needs more encouragement to meet deadlines.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO, Content Marketing, & PPC for National Legal Services Company

“They’re quick to get back to my inquiries, and the turnaround time on projects is pretty good.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides various digital marketing services, including SEO, PPC, and content strategy. They’ve also implemented analytics tools to track efforts and drive lead quality.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Las Vegas, Nevada
SEO Manager, Legal Services Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since Straight North’s initial involvement, site traffic has continued to grow as lead quality improves. The team focuses on data-driven strategies, recording all campaigns to gain crucial insights. Customers can expect responsiveness, transparency, and open communication throughout.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work for a nationwide legal services company. In my role, I work with our outsourced SEO agencies to make sure that they’re getting our leads up and promoting our Google rankings.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

When I joined my position, we didn’t have any digital marketing strategies in place to boost our Google visibility let alone any analytics. We were also buying firms across the US, so we needed a way to promote all of our locations. Straight North came onboard to establish our SEO/PPC efforts, track our marketing data, and improve our lead generation.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

During our preliminary meetings, we discussed our needs to give them a better sense of the situation. Straight North then outlined an SEO plan, showing us the trending keywords and how they related to our field. We refined that list to make sure that those keywords reflected our services and added new terms to target.

They also created a strategy to get our directory listings published, support our PPC campaigns, and improve our web content. Because content is king with Google rankings, it was imperative that we had strong pieces to bulk up our site. Their team wrote several articles, ensuring that the pieces were appropriate and included the right keywords.

To track our marketing efforts and cultivate qualified leads, they set up our Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts along with their own reporting tools. One tool allows them to record the first 30 seconds of a call to determine whether or not it was from a potential lead.

Currently, they continue to drive our digital marketing efforts, delivering a separate monthly report for our SEO and PPC campaigns. This allows us to compare our month-to-month results and better adjust our strategies. Additionally, as our organization buys up more firms, they’re proactive in getting the new firms situated on the main site, Google Maps, and searches.

What is the team composition?

We’ve worked with two account managers so far, including our current point of contact.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

A colleague recommended Straight North to me. After looking at multiple agencies, I decided to go with them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spend about $2,500 a month with another $1,000 dedicated to ad fees.

What is the status of this engagement?

Their work started in October 2016 and is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Everything is on an upward trend. In the last two years, we’ve seen a big increase in organic traffic. Stronger content and targeted keywords have spiked our Google visibility, and our lead quality has also improved. A few months ago, we reached a new high of 81 leads.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re quick to get back to my inquiries, and the turnaround time on projects is pretty good. If we need to add something to the website, they complete the task within a fair timeline. As for communication, we email a few times a week and hold monthly calls.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their account manager is exceptionally responsive and communicates well. She updates us on production status and passes on messages on our behalf. If she doesn’t know something, she checks with the relevant resource and gets back to us. It’s an open and transparent process.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There were some website changes that could've been completed faster, but that might be unfair to say since I don’t know how complex it is on the development side.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

If you’re building a web page or implementing a change to the site, make sure that Straight North understands exactly what you want. That way, you won’t have to redo work due to an initial misunderstanding. Maintaining open lines of communication is also important to keep everyone on the same page.

5.0
Overall Score We’ve had smooth sailing since we started working with them.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I don't have many complaints.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Compared to their competitors, their prices are fair.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Whenever we need something done, they usually do it on time and as asked.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've dealt with all kinds of companies, and these guys are definitely great at communication.

Digital Marketing Optimization for Marketing Software Company

“The work that they did for us was integral to our success.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - Sept. 2018
Project summary: 

Straight North optimized product-driven PPC campaigns by modifying the key messaging and updating the Google AdWords account.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Digital Marketing Director, Marketing Software Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Their innovative marketing techniques have generated a large number of qualified leads and reduced the $1200 cost-per-conversion rate to $365. Straight North adjusted well to the project’s ever-evolving direction, proving that their team can strive in any environment.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We’re a sales enablement technology company that creates software for an efficient sales environment. As the digital marketing director, I manage the website and oversee all of the online ad campaigns.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

When I came onboard, our company didn’t have a real marketing team, so we had trouble shifting our focus to PPC marketing. We already had a Google AdWords account but had only used it for one-time campaigns. Although I tried my best to optimize the keywords, we simply didn’t have the frame of reference to know if our strategies were producing results. As such, we needed an agency that specialized in PPC to guide us in the right direction.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our VP of marketing believed that most of our leads were generated from trial downloads, so we decided to focus on demo-driven campaigns. Straight North reviewed the ad campaigns that we had already created and modifying our approach. It was a repetitive process of testing different strategies and learning which messaging, keywords, and landing pages generated qualified leads. We used Pardot in conjunction with Google Adwords to measure how many downloads converted into customers.

What is the team composition?

We interacted with their account executive during the contract process. For the project, we worked with the account manager and a PPC specialist.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

The first agency that we reached out to declined our offer because they had signed on with one of our competitors. We then started asking around for reputable PPC companies, and several people in our network gave Straight North a glowing recommendation. 

How much have you invested with them?

In the beginning, our monthly spend was between $16,000–$17,000. Near the end, the monthly cost increased to about $20,000 each month. Overall, their services only accounted for 15% of our media expense. 

What is the status of this engagement?

The project lasted from March–August 2018. Although their services have helped us tremendously, we’ve decided to shift our focus to content-driven campaigns and produce the work in-house.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Before we hired them, our cost per conversion was at an astronomical rate of $1200. After they came in and modified our key messaging and digital ad strategies, our average cost per conversion dropped to $365. 

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North is one of the most transparent and responsive companies that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. We didn’t know what to expect when it came to setting deadlines, so we relied on them heavily for scheduling. They stayed true to the suggested timeline and kept us updated along the way with biweekly phone conferences. Their project manager was very responsive to our needs and always had an answer for our inquiries. It was also nice to have their PPC specialist present during the meetings; he gave feedback on all of our business ideas, even for matters outside of the scope.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their work was integral to our success, so I hold their optimizations in high regard. Straight North used their knowledge to transform how our team thought about PPC campaigns. They cleaned up our AdWords account and helped us focus on what was most important for our business.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They spent a significant amount of time conducting tests on material that they had already observed during the onboarding process. They should keep a record of their results so that they can refer to them and avoid redundant evaluations.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have an honest conversation with your team. Map out what you hope to accomplish and how much you’re willing to spend. When we reached out to Straight North, we didn’t have a solid plan. One of the biggest disservices we did to Straight North was changing directions halfway through the project. Had we gone into the project knowing that we should spend our efforts on content-driven campaigns, we would have seen great results instantly.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO, PPC, and Web Dev for Auto Transport Brokerage

"They've done a great job at getting our name out there and having our site show up before our competitors."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides 360-degree SEO and PPC services, handling AdWords and inbound lead validation. Currently, they’re also redesigning a website to boost overall functionality and design.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Glenview, Illinois
Ken Shapiro
General Manager, Stateway Auto Transport
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Search rankings and inbound leads have improved dramatically since Straight North was first engaged, while conversion costs have dropped. Their consistent communication, responsiveness, and understanding of digital technologies justify the investment and make them a valuable partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm a general manager at Stateway Auto Transport. We ship cars across the U.S.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We initially wanted help with our SEO. We needed our company to show up in online searches and rank higher than our competitors.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In terms of SEO, they've created some new campaigns for us and added more keywords. They also investigate and validate our inbound leads. In addition, we've asked Straight North to take over our PPC efforts. We’d been using a separate provider and decided it made more sense to have everything centralized. They've integrated us into a platform called Kenshoo, which automatically identifies the cheapest keywords at select times.

As the engagement progressed, we decided our old WordPress site needed updating. Straight North is doing the development work to completely revamp the site, which will launch next month (October 2018).

What is the team composition?

Hillary (account manager, Straight North) handles the SEO and PPC, and Ann (senior project manager, Straight North) is the lead on the website development.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We’d been looking around, and a couple of local companies referred us to them.

How much have you invested with them?

We're currently spending around $6,000 dollars a month, which will go down substantially after we launch the new website. We pay them 11% of our ad spend.

What is the status of this engagement?

Our work together started in October 2017, and the engagement is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

They've increased our domain superiority, and we're getting a lot more inbound leads. We're generating more leads per month than we ever have in the history of the business. Plus, our cost per conversion has gone down significantly. They've done a great job at getting our name out there and having our site show up before our competitors.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Their team is very good. Hillary and I have biweekly meetings to go through everything they're doing for SEO and any changes that they've made. Ann serves as my liaison for the website developers and writers. We have a set schedule to review anything they send us, as well as deadlines every few days to get them our feedback or approval. She’ll pass that along to the developers and make sure that the job gets done. If there's something wrong or I flag some issue, they’re on top of it and get it fixed right away.

Straight North has an excellent platform for reporting a full breakdown of project metrics. It shows organic and PPC leads. It covers what they're doing for SEO, too (e.g., backlinks, blog posts). Everything is completely accessible to me in real time. They also use Google Analytics, and we get monthly reports from AdWords.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their performance, especially when it comes to SEO, is excellent. One of the most helpful things that they do is lead validation. They have somebody listening in on all incoming phone calls to make sure that they're valid leads. That way, we don't spend time on leads that are shopping around or aren't serious about paying for our services.

Are there any areas they could improve?

It's hard to say what they could improve upon. I would like more information on the website development, even though it's much more technical than I'm probably able to understand. I suppose I could reach out and ask Ann those things. I haven't yet because they've always delivered everything they said they would within deadlines. Everything else is great, so I have zero complaints.

Any advice for potential customers?

Be totally honest about what you need. Don't be shy in asking for help. They have a very skilled team with lots of manpower. For example, I didn't even know that they had a PPC team at first. Once I found out, it seemed obvious that we would reap the benefits of using them for both SEO and PPC. Make sure to ask about all their services you may need.

4.5
Overall Score They're very accommodating and solve problems quickly.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They're always on time.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We’ve definitely seen a positive ROI.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They've handled everything and completed what we've asked them to do.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO Campaigns for Midwestern Manufacturer

“Overall, the entire experience has been positive.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North created and implemented SEO campaigns to increase visibility in a niche market. Using Google Analytics, the efforts focus on improving search rankings in Google to attract new business.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Marcin Chojnowski
Technical Sales Engineer, Meyer Tool & Mfg. Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

So far, Straight North’s outreach strategies have generated new customers, increased traffic rates, and improved search rankings. With a balanced, collaborative, and transparent approach to the partnership, the team is able to develop valuable strategies that drive business.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Technical Sales Engineer at Meyer Tool & Mfg. Inc., a specialized custom fabrication shop. We apply our expertise in engineering, welding, machining, and testing related to pressure vessels, vacuum chambers, and cryogenic systems to a diverse array of custom products and services to industrial and research based customers around the world. We have built up our fabrication core competencies and business processes around custom particle accelerator and high energy physics related products and we apply those skills on projects in need of some degree of engineering or fabrication related problem solving.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We wanted to grow our business by finding new sales leads and potential customers. We needed a partner to help increase our visibility within our industry.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Belonging to a very niche market, we gave Straight North a set of goals to increase our visibility within our industry. The team implemented a campaign that focused on generating new customer traffic and improving our rankings in Google searches. For a brief period, they also provided PPC services. The Straight North team tracks our progress using Google Analytics and forms reports based on that data. At our request, they promptly make any changes to the campaign.

What is the team composition?

We worked with an account manager who was supported by a behind-the-scenes team.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

The company was looking for a group of professionals to work on SEO campaigns. I wasn’t with the company when they made the decision to partner with Straight North.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in May 2017 and the partnership is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

In the year that we’ve worked with Straight North, we’ve received more new customer orders than any of our previous years. Our website traffic has increased, our rankings have improved, and we have a stronger digital presence, which has definitely brought in a significant number of new clients.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We have a monthly teleconference to discuss the project and any updates or issues. Straight North is very friendly, yet they maintain a sense of professionalism in their work. Our partnership is very collaborative. We continuously send suggestions back and forth until we agree.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Overall, the entire experience has been positive. All of their work brings value to our business. I appreciate the way they handle the project and their high level of communication.

Are there any areas they could improve?

There are no areas for Straight North to improve because they are already so open to change. We consistently have discussions if we find that any element of the partnership needs to be tweaked.

Any advice for potential customers?

The technical terms involved in a project like this are pretty easy to pick up with a little bit of research. I recommend clients try to learn some of this language to get a better grasp of the type of services that Straight North is providing. This will result in a more efficient collaboration.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
Verification

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Verification Level
Gold
VERIFIED
Business Entity
Status
Active
Jurisdiction of Formation
Illinois
ID
1556606
Date of Formation
Jun 30, 2005
Source
Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
Last Updated
Dec 24, 2018
Payment & Legal Filings
Bankruptcy
No
Tax Lien Filings
0
Judgement Filings
0
Collections Count
0
Last Updated
Jul 22, 2019
Client Reviews
VERIFIED CLIENT REVIEWS
73
OVERALL REVIEW RATING
4.8
Source
Clutch
LAST UPDATED
October 14, 2019